April 26, 2012

Thoughts and musings

I have really enjoyed a thought passed on yesterday--we have to fight to keep what we have. This was spoken in reference to the Children of Israel and the promised land--they had to fight to get there, but once there, they couldn't just sit back and rest on past victories. There were always other kings, nations wanting to take what they had away from them. Such a great reminder, both spiritually and naturally. 

I tend to be a goal oriented person. This does not mean I accomplish all my goals. However, if I get a bee in my bonnet, I can get something accomplished. My thought process does not generally go beyond the goal. I tend to think of accomplishing the goal as the end of it. But it never is. Even something as basic as a neat house--You can clean it from top to bottom and yet, if you sit around for a day or two, it is in a state again. Like pregnancy--the culmination of pregnancy is a grueling process that results in your very own baby. That is generally the "goal" in my mind. With my first pregnancy, my mind didn't focus much on the after. It was all blinded by rosy visions of fresh clean babies to cuddle that magically change into dear, brilliant little toddlers. And yet, everyone knows that the reality is completely different. They can easily be fresh, clean babies but that is definitely an uphill battle that this here overtired mother did not always accomplish. And they can be dear, brilliant toddlers, but there is discipline necessary to keep them dear and encourage brilliance. 

My mind did the same with marriage. I hated laundry, dishes, etc. But I had this idea that once I was married I would magically love to do those things because I would just love to be able to do it for my sweet, darling husband. Yeah, let me tell you, As darling and sweet as your husband is, marriage doesn't magically convert you into suzy homemaker who never wishes that her husband would at LEAST rinse the dish off before putting it in the semi-full sink or put his clothes in the hamper. And as people always tell you, marriage is work. It should definitely be work where the happiness, love, and fun out weigh any efforts, but it isn't the constant, rosy hued ever after my childhood and teenage self thought it should be. I blame fairy tales for this. Happily ever after should be changed to "pretty much happily ever after". Hmmm... It doesn't have that same ring does it? 

Obviously I have unrealistic expectations. I prefer to think of this as being an optimist. I like to think that once  I accomplish _______ then that aspect of my life will be lovely and can be put from my mind. This applies to finances (if we got credit cards paid off, then we wouldn't have to worry about finances anymore), health things (if I could only get down to X lbs, life would be so. much. easier.), house remodeling (if we only had the room above the garage done...).  But it is never that simple. There will always be awesome sales, fabulous looking desserts, and one more idea for maximizing the useability of our house to tempt me to get into the same situation I was in before. 

I think I am a bundle of optimistically unrealistic expectations and lazy, self-indulgence tendencies. I don't WANT to have to clean my house every day. I don't WANT to have to not eat desserts just because I want to loose weight. I don't WANT to have to correct my children and have a fight on my hands. I don't WANT to not buy a great deal just because I don't need to have it. I don't WANT to have to be nice to Justin when I think he is in the wrong about whether or not we should have another window in the room above the garage. 

And if I don't do all those things, then the things I love best, calmness/peace in our home, health, sweet kids, financial independence, and even my marriage are all threatened. 

That phrase--Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, sort of applies here. While I love the response of "Well then you certainly don't have the right recipes," there is a certain aspect of truth to that statement. When I make sure to do all the things I don't WANT to do, life is so much lovelier. There isn't a nagging, never-getting-done to do list running through my head or vague feelings of guilt of how I could have better handled Orianna's over-tired outburst when she walked through the door after school.  

We can never just stop in life and rest on our laurels for the rest of time. So there is no point in thinking life should be easier or more fun. The things I have in life are precious. The things I have spiritually are even more precious. They are worth fighting for. Everyday. 

And now that I have beat that thought to death and motivated myself to sweep the floor and put toys away, I will wish you all good day. Hope it is a good one for you all. 


laura said...

I love love love love love this! (Yup, five loves.) I have been thinking a lot about these things lately too. Someday, I will not rest on my blog laurels and get around to posting about it... Right now, I'm side-lining & reading everyone else's thoughts...

But, yes, I feel this lately - seems like it comes to me in the portion of "days" - as in, I wake up every morning with thoughts to be more present spiritually, be more productive at work, not each so much junk, exercise more, be more forgiving and generally exude love to every single being... Obviously, this doesn't happen. But then there's that feeling of guilt every. single. day. about it. Makes me think there has got to be a balance to keeping up on all fronts and remembering we have put our best into the day... Let me know if you ever figure that one out (:

Verity Earl said...

Well... I hate to say "I told you so," but I do remember a certain 16-year-old Bet who was so gung ho about washing her husband's dirty socks and a certain Verity and Lindsey saying that would never happen. :)

I think "Happily ever after" should be changed to "frequently happy." It's just so much tidier, don't you think?

Love you Bet!

Evan and Clover and Co. said...

You need to read the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin-- it's really good about how to meet those goals we all have-- being happier, and fitter, and more patient, and smarter. I think this is about the tenth time I've told you to read it, so do it already!!